How to camp like a pro - camping for beginners | SWK

How to camp like a pro (when you’re a complete beginner)

Posted on by Christine Felton

If you’re planning to go camping this year and it’s your very first time, it’s understandable to be worried about ‘doing it wrong’. The last thing you want is to have your tent collapse in the night or to forget a crucial piece of kit – which can be embarrassing in front of a field of fellow campers.

Camping for beginners – camp like a pro

So, whether you’re signed up for a Single With Kids camping holiday or you’re heading out on a camping UK adventure of your own, here’s all you need to know to be (or at least act like) a camping pro:

Invest in a great sleeping bag

This is not an item you should skimp on – because the cheapest, most lightweight sleeping bag will NOT keep you warm enough. Shell out a bit more for a good one and stay toasty warm all night.

Insulate from below

What makes you cold at night (apart from a poor sleeping bag) is not enough insulation from the cold of the ground. A nice thick roll mat, blanket or other alternative will solve this problem.

Pack an emergency kit

It’s smart to pack a basic first aid kit, but you should also add in practical items that could come in handy for other minor emergencies. For example, a small pair of scissors, string, a plastic bag, a torch, a spare lighter and perhaps a spare mobile phone.

Practice pitching your tent before you go

If you put your tent up and down a few times in your back garden before you go, you’ll be able to do it quickly and properly when the moment comes. You’ll look like an old hand at camping – no one will ever know it’s your first trip!

Make a packing list

It sounds obvious, but not everyone does it. Be organised, checking things off as you go, and you won’t forget anything.

Buy a tent that’s bigger than you think you need

Remember that you’ll have all of your stuff to fit inside, plus messy, boisterous kids if you’re on a family or single parents camping trip.

Manage your tent interiors

Do this just like you would at home, finding a place for everything so you can keep organised. Remember to keep things away from the sides of your tent, or you could let moisture in and end up with damp belongings.

Use space-saving packing tricks

Nothing says ‘camping novice’ like huge amounts of luggage, so you’ll need to streamline with some smart packing. Roll rather than fold clothes, double up items (i.e. use your warm coat as a pillow) and miniaturise everything from washing up liquid to toiletries.

Prepare for every kind of weather

This doesn’t need to take up loads of space – simply pack sun cream, a warm hat and gloves and a waterproof coat. As for clothes, pack lightweight layers that you can put on or take off depending on the weather.

Camping pros – have you got any smart tips on camping for beginners? Feel free to share the inside knowledge by commenting below!

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